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Vineland Produce Auction looks forward to the fall season

vineland2020The Vineland Produce Auction experienced a positive spring and summer, and is looking forward to a “strong fall,” according to the auction’s Carol DeFoor.

Asked to recap how things have gone up to now, she offered this assessment on Thursday, Aug. 13: “Actually with everything that’s been happening with COVID-19, it was a little stronger than anticipated. When we bring in new items, like when we started up with peppers or when we started up with squash, they seem to stay high for several weeks. There was an extended period of demand for what we had, which was surprising, because with so many of the foodservice industries closed, we didn’t expect that.”

At the beginning of the summer, “We had eggplant, peppers and squash, which did very well. They have faltered” since around the beginning of August, as sometimes happens. “We also had some rain, which is going to hurt some of the volume,” she said. “It’s hurting the volume right now. Between the heat in July and the rain in August, some of our volume is down currently.”

Looking ahead to the state’s fall season, DeFoor said that if there’s a lot of rain, “things might be a little delayed because the guys can’t get in the fields. They’re having a little bit of a difficult time getting stuff planted, but as usual, everybody is continuing as much as they can. So we should have a strong fall, with plenty of product available.”

The main items in the fall for the auction usually include kale, collard and cabbage. Also, “We do get some lettuces starting up again,” she noted. “All the greens will come back,” including spinach and parsley. “And we will have sweet potatoes available.”

On the personnel front, “One of our members, Linda Hendricks, left for a new opportunity” in the middle of June. She had been with the auction for about 14 years. “We welcome Missy Corson into our family,” who joined the auction in the middle of July, said DeFoor. “We all work together and create our own VPA family.”

In conclusion, DeFoor said, “COVID-19 really affected a lot of people. It was detrimental to some. It’s been just a crazy, crazy year. There’s not one person, I think, that’s not been affected by it.”

Photo: Joe Colon III, Jose (Tony) Colon and Monserrate Colon at the Vineland Produce Auction.

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